January Highlights

We’ve reached the last day of the first month of 2016. I feel like I was just getting ready for the new year and reflecting on 2015, this month flew by so fast. That’s why I want to focus on making the most of the present instead of worrying about the future this year – it goes by in the blink of an eye, and I don’t want to miss a moment! Since this blog serves as a sort of adventure log for me as well as being a place to collecting running and recipe tips, I’ll be recapping each month like I did for several months of last year (April, May, June, and July) and then lost track of doing with all my traveling. I’m settled into the swing of my new routine now, I’ve learned a lot from blogging having reached the one-year mark, and today is all about my January highlights!

 

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Dashing Through The Snow

New York may not be as cold or snowy as, say, Alaska or Chicago or Minnesota. But we still get our fair share of wintry skies and snowflakes (with more than our fair share of slush in the streets). Usually, New Yorkers just carry on, clad in boots and parkas to trudge determinedly to their destinations. After all, snow is better than rain. Central Park becomes a winter wonderland if we’re lucky, with skating rinks to maneuver and hills to sled. And us runners? Well, we keep on running!

Central Park after a mild snowfall

Central Park after a mild snowfall

 

 

Little Hotties are great (just be careful not to tear the packets!)

Little Hotties are great (just don’t tear the packets!)

Running in the cold doesn’t bother me much. I prefer cold to constant rain, although I make tracks as the raindrops come tumbling down too! Warm, breathable layers are a must. I usually start with a base layer of moisture-wicking fabric on both top and bottom, with a long-sleeved top and long running tights or leggings. I occasionally add another layer of thin regular tights on the bottom if it’s lower than mid-20s Fahrenheit or if it’s very windy. On top, I add a running jacket with a thin Polartec inner lining and a wind-and-water-resistant outer shell (and sometimes another layer in-between). Outer extremities are protected by the requisite hat and gloves – and, of course, a pair of running shoes. If it’s really cold, I sometimes use hand and/or foot-warmers.

 

That is all you need for running in the cold as comfortably as me. However, running in the snow requires a few extra tools and tricks of the trade. Snow is wet and slippery, and can be dangerous to run in if your shoes are not appropriately festooned with extra traction. I use Due North traction aids, but have heard good things about YakTrax as well. If it snows a LOT wherever you live, investing in Icebug sneakers (with permanent spikes) might be a good idea. Whatever you choose, traction aids should help to keep you on the straight and narrow – running path, that is! Just remember, traction aids are NOT magic, so you’ll still need to keep your run slow and steady and pay attention to the ground beneath your feet. If it looks slippery, it probably is, and even if it doesn’t, there may still be black ice!

 

Due North traction aids...

Due North traction aids…

...ready to hit the snowy streets!

…ready to hit the snowy streets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also helpful to wear a hat with a brim in addition to a beanie if snow is actually falling while you run, to keep precipitation off your face and enable clearer vision, just like if it was rain. I usually wear a baseball cap over a beanie, or wear a headband and baseball cap, and then use the hood of my wind-and-water-resistant jacket as another insulating layer for my head. After all, it’s where most of the heat escapes from your body. And after that, you’re covered – so get out there and embrace the chance to run in a winter wonderland! (Just remember to exercise caution and good judgment. So if it’s truly a blizzard, stay inside and jump on the dreadmill! Or if the Snowpocalypse comes, like this afternoon, stick with the Gilmore Girls workout – watching Netflix, moving your limbs to reach the cookies you’ve put on the coffee table.)

 

The path is cleared and ready for you!

The path is cleared and ready for you!

 

 

 

 

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